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Democratic Representative Gabbard: US Should ‘Temporarily Suspend’ Visa Waiver Program With Europe

by Ian Hanchett     •     Breitbart

Representative Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-HI) argued “we need to temporarily suspend this visa waiver program” between the US and Europe because “it could just be a matter of hours, before someone travels through these different borders, someone who’s become a foreign fighter, who’s been fighting in Syria, and ends up here on the United States soil” on Monday’s broadcast of CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

Gabbard said, “I think as we watch this manhunt going on across Europe, I’m reminded of a vulnerability and a weakness that must be addressed. We’ve got a visa waiver program that really does not address the vulnerability of the open and porous borders between Syria and Turkey, and that — we’ve seen already how many foreign fighters from across Europe are able to travel through those borders, and are not being tracked and are not being — they’re not able to be addressed going through that. So, we need to temporarily suspend this visa waiver program until the intelligence community gets a handle on this, and exactly how large it is, and what’s going on.”

She added that, “They should be required to go through the normal visa application process, so that we can thoroughly vet exactly who’s trying to come into the United States, because as it is now, really it could just be a matter of hours, before someone travels through these different borders, someone who’s become a foreign fighter, who’s been fighting in Syria, and ends up here on the United States soil, presenting a potential threat.”

Gabbard furhhter said, “with the open and porous border between Syria and Turkey, and the lack of tracking from people who are coming through those borders, and going from Turkey and to other European countries, especially with the thousands and thousands of foreign fighters that we’re seeing from all across Europe, this is something that we’ve got to address this immediately.”

Later, Gabbard argued, “there are limitations to what the intelligence community can do. This is why it’s so important for those in the intelligence community to be using the resources that they have to focus on those credible threats, focus on those who have these potential links, who have been identified as potential threats to the United States, rather than going through these bulk gathering of data on every single American, gathering information on all of our phone calls, that’s a waste of resources, and it really puts way too much information out there, when they should be really culling that information in a very narrow fashion that’s targeted on those who present a potential threat.”

She concluded, “I remain concerned about the open avenues of travel that people have between Europe and the United States, as we deal with this very specific situation, and the lack of accountability really on the intelligence communities, on both sides on exactly who these foreign fighters are, where they are, and what they’re doing.”